This summer the Lazinc gallery in Mayfair is hosting Banksy Greatest Hits: 2002-2008, a new exhibition that'll be the only place in the UK to offer the public a chance to view Banksy's work in one place. We're not talking graffiti-covered debris ripped from walls around the world, but Banksy's more 'manageable' work - stencilled canvases, unique paintings, sculptures and limited-edition prints.
These works all come from private collections, and are being displayed by Lazinc to resolve the fact that Banksy is an artist of the people, but whose work is currently not included in any permanent collections within the UK.
Digital Arts attended a special preview event for the exhibition, where we got to stroll around various rooms in Lazinc's swanky townhouse settings to the sounds of some classic triphop. Enjoy our gallery of photos taken of the various works on display, and check out the exhibition yourself when it runs from July 12th to August 25th 2018.
Main image: Bronze Rat sculpture (left), 2006; Happy Chopper canvas (middle), 2002; Turf War canvas (right), 2003.
Lazinc is a joint partnership between contemporary art specialist and Banksy’s original gallerist, Steve Lazarides, who founded the existing Lazarides business in 2006, alongside art collector and global retail expert, Wissam Al Mana.
"Banksy has made himself the artist of the people," Steve explains about the exhibition. "He belongs to the people – his popularity is because of them. It’s our mission to show all elements of his work externally and give the public the opportunity to experience it, when museums and galleries won’t."
"He has always been able to transform a very complicated subject matter into its lowest common denominator, democratizing the art world and making it accessible to all."
Image: Save or Delete print for Greenpeace, 2002
Steve Lazarides, originally a photographer, first met Banksy in 1997 when he took his portrait for Sleaze Nation magazine. For the next 11 years, until 2008, Lazarides acted as Banksy’s official photographer and gallerist, staging some of the artist’s most high-profile sales, exhibition productions and making national headlines.
Banksy prints were valued from £49.99 and by 2008 had sold at £100,000. Since then, the highest value for a Banksy ever achieved at auction is $1.87 million for Keep It Spotless (2007), a defacement of a Damien Hirst canvas, sold at Sothebys New York in February 2008.
Image: Show Me the Monet canvas, 2005
Lazinc now comprises a flagship gallery in Mayfair, Lazinc Banksy Print Gallery on London’s Southbank and Lazinc Editions, an e-commerce print sales business based in Greenwich.
Alongside a rich roster of primary artists including JR, Invader, Todd James, Mark Jenkins and Vhils, the gallery looks to acquire dynamic estates and undiscovered bodies of work by artists and historic movements reminiscent of the Lazinc ethos to be uninhabited, expressive and disruptive.
Image: Sunflowers from Petrol Station canvas, 2006
As we all know, Banksy is an anonymous graffiti artist from Bristol, who uses subversive epigrams and dark humour to provide political and social commentary on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world. His work grew out of the Bristol underground scene, which involved collaborations between artists and musicians.
Image: Golf Sale screenprint, 2003 (top); Welcome to Hell screenprint, 2004 (bottom left); Monkey Queen screenprint, 2003 (middle); Soup Can screenprint, 2005 (bottom right)
There are no literal street pieces in the Greatest Hits collection, and all works were commercially acquired by their owners.
Images from L-R: Chocolate and Donuts screenprint, 2009; Nola screenprint, 2008
Although Banksy and Steve parted ways in 2008, Lazinc continues to champion the secondary-market when it comes to Banksy originals and prints.
Image: Bacchus at the Seaside painting, 2009
Notable pieces in the Lazinc show include Love Is In The Air (2006), which was the front cover of Banksy’s personal manifesto Wall and Piece and which sold 1.5 million copies.
Also on display is Girl and Balloon (pictured, 2006), which was voted as the nation’s favourite art work in 2017.
Image: Bullet Hole Bust, 2006
Image: Homeless di Milo, 2006
Image: Grim Reaper screenprint, 2005
Image: Christ with Shopping Bags canvas, 2004